Daily Business Report — Aug. 13, 2014
Rendering of San Diego State University’s Zura residence hall.
SDSU’s Zura Hall Getting $53 Million Facelift
San Diego State University’s Zura residence hall is undergoing a $53 million renovation program that will include increasing the housing density to 606 beds, from the current 585, and other improvements. Balfour Beatty Construction is doing the project.
Originally built in 1968, the 141,000-square-foot residence hall features three separate housing towers with five, seven, and eight stories, and a common first floor.
Upgrades also will include an enhanced main entrance, the enclosure of selected balconies to increase resident room sizes, new restroom cores, upgraded finishes, new HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as replacement of windows and seismic upgrades.
The scope also includes the addition of community space for academic achievement and socialization. Renovations being made to achieve this goal include modifying the existing elevator tower that is currently an open-air format and stops on even numbered floors only. The renovation will enclose the entire elevator core, infill the odd numbered floor levels, and modify the elevators to stop at every floor. This will create a common area on every floor for all three towers. In addition, a roof top terrace will be added on the five-story building with the ability to show outdoor movies. The structure is surrounded by five other student dorms that will be occupied during construction.
HMC Architects + Mahlum Architects designed the project. Financing is from the California State University System revenue bond program, and housing reserves. It is expected to be complete by summer 2015.
Mesa College Getting New $11.4 Million Fitness Center
Balfour Beatty Construction has also started construction on a new $11.4 million fitness center building located at San Diego Community College District’s Mesa College campus. The design-build project will replace the existing fitness building and provide a new venue for the exercise science and athletic programs, as well as access to improved fitness amenities for use by all Mesa College students.
Construction will include a two-story, 27,200-square-foot steel structure to be occupied by the Mesa College Athletics Department and will include an aerobics studio, weight training room, spinning room, free weight training lab, athletic training room and treatment room, cardio fitness training lab, and an office suite.
The project is expected to be complete by June 2015.
Balfour Beatty Construction is also providing design-build services to construct two other projects at Mesa College: A new 65,000-square-foot cafeteria/bookstore/stockroom project and a new 57,000-square-foot Center for Business Technology building. Previous work at Mesa College includes the construction of a five- tier parking structure and a 6,700-square-foot police station for the campus police.
Research Center Pointe Sells for $16.35 Million
CARLSBAD — Research Center Pointe, an industrial building at 2210 Faraday Ave. in Carlsbad, has been sold for $16.35 million to Regent Properties, a Los Angeles-based real estate investment and acquisitions firm. The seller was Paragon Real Estate Investments, a San Diego-based firm.
Research Center Pointe is located in the master planned Carlsbad Research Center. The 119,561-square-foot building is occupied by two tenants, Medtronic and Nemko USA. The remaining 40,000 square feet is available for lease.
The purchase was Regent Properties’ second acquisition in Carlsbad in the last 90 days. In May, the firm purchased the former Upper Deck headquarters building at 5909 Sea Otter Place for $16 million.
Protesters in Hazmat Suits to Urge
Commission to Halt to Offshore Fracking
As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego today, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with the Center for Biological Diversity and SanDiego350.org will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s oceans, beaches and wildlife. The protest starts at 10 a.m. outside the commission meeting at the Catamaran Resort, 3999 Mission Blvd., San Diego.
“Every offshore frack job increases the toxic threat to California’s fragile ocean ecosystems,” said Miyoko Sakashita, the center’s oceans program director. “The Coastal Commission must protect our beautiful beaches and marine wildlife from dangerous fracking chemicals and the increased oil spill risk that comes from using this risky technology in offshore wells.”
Oil companies have fracked hundreds of wells off California’s coast, and about half the oil platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel discharge wastewater into the sea. The oil industry has federal permission to annually dump more than 9 billion gallons of wastewater, including fracking fluid, directly into the ocean off California’s coast.
Parking Getting More Expensive at the Waterfront
The Port of San Diego Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved the expansion of a pilot program that changed parking meter rates and hours at Tuna Harbor Park. The program will be implemented at public parking lots in the North Embarcadero and Ruocco Park next month, following a unanimous vote by the commissioners.
Rates were hiked for parking meters at Tuna Harbor Park three months ago in response to port tenant and resident comments regarding low vehicle turnover. In essence, vehicles were being parked at the meters for lengths of time that were considered excessive.
Port tenants, like restaurants and shops, depend on customers coming and going in order to turn a profit.
A report from port staff said the problem shifted from Tuna Harbor to nearby Ruocco Park, causing crowded lots and low turnover of vehicles. The opening of the waterfront park at the County Administration Center has had the same impact at nearby bayside lots, according to the report.
Hourly rates are currently $1 at Ruocco Park and $1.25 along the North Embarcadero. The cost of parking will rise to $1.75 an hour at both locations.
— City News Service
Terry LeClair Named President of McMillin Realty
Terry LeClair, an 18-year veteran of the real estate industry, has been named president of McMillin Realty with the charge to grow the company from its current three offices in South County to cover San Diego’s metropolitan and coastal markets.
LeClair comes to McMillin from Ontario, Canada, where he owned and operated real estate brokerages and service companies for most of his career. He started as a Century 21 real estate agent in 1996.
LeClair established a real estate training firm, TLC Coaching and Training, to train agents in sales, advertising, marketing, social media, technology design and implementation. He also developed a sophisticated software suite for brokers.
Executive Vice President and Broker of Record Isabel Hall will remain in her position at McMillin Realty as will Vice President Lupe Soto, who oversees the current three offices in Terra Nova, Bonita and Eastlake.
CaseyGerry Partners Win Industry Awards
David S. Casey Jr. and Frederick Schenk — longtime partners at San Diego-based CaseyGerry — received top honors at The American Association for Justice (AAJ) 2014 annual convention in Baltimore. Casey received the AAJ New Lawyers Division Defender of Justice Award and Schenk won recognition as a Diplomate of Trial Advocacy.
Casey was awarded the Defender of Justice Award for his commitment to defending the rights of others, in particular for his work in helping to forming Trial Lawyers Care — the largest pro-bono effort in American jurisprudence history. In his role as AAJ president and vice president, he helped create and coordinate an effort in which more than 1,000 attorneys secured awards of more than $2.5 billion for families of 9/11 Victims. Schenk was honored at the AAJ event with Diplomate status for his commitment to improving practical knowledge of trial skills and substantive law, as well as for his dedication to pursuing advanced legal education. To receive the designation, Schenk completed more than 400 hours of jury trial training with AAJ education programs, including AAJ’s advanced trial skills seminar at Harvard Law School.
Six Industries Cited as Key to
South County Economic Growth
South San Diego County’s economic growth over the next five years depends on supporting the expansion of six key industries and ensuring there is a trained workforce for them, a consultant told community leaders Tuesday. Cecilia V. Estolano of Estolano LeSar Perez Advisors presented what she called “a unified vision of South County” over the next five years, identifying the key industries and outlining steps to support them.
The study was commissioned by the South County Economic Development Council as part of a visioning process. It was based in part on a survey of more than 4,500 community leaders and private citizens in South County. The six key industries identified in the study are:
• Advanced manufacturing
• Health care
• Food processing and distribution
• Maritime-related industries
Of all of these industries, Estolano said, aerospace and the closely-related advanced manufacturing sector have the greatest potential because of high wages and continual innovation. She noted that starting wages in advanced manufacturing processes can be as high as $31 per hour.
— Times of San Diego
Only Kaiser Permanente to Reduce
Covered California Premiums in 2015
A report from Citigroup says Kaiser Permanente will reduce its premiums on Covered California plans by an average of 1.4 percent. Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Blue Shield of California are the other major players on the online health insurance exchange. Collectively, these insurers are raising the cost of their plans by an average of 4.2 percent.
Anthony Wright, executive director of the nonprofit group Health Access California, said it sure beats the annual double-digit price increases of the last decade.
“We’re starting to see the benefits of a standardized and regulated market, where these plans actually have to compete on cost and quality, rather than just avoiding sick people,” Wright said.
Despite the rate cut, Kaiser’s plans still remain among the most expensive on the exchange. In contrast, Health Net’s offerings are the cheapest.
In Covered California’s first open enrollment period, more than 1.2 million people enrolled in a health plan and began paying premiums.
State regulators may review the rates before the exchange’s 2015 open enrollment period begins in November.
Encinitas Teen Honored by EPA
For Food Donation Program
A campaign founded by a North County student to get surplus and short-dated food from grocers, growers and food companies in the region donated to the hungry was honored Tuesday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The “Donate, Don’t Dump” campaign created by Gabrielle Posard was given the President’s Environmental Youth Award by the EPA.The campaign, which is now a volunteer-run nonprofit with 20 chapters and more than 4,000 members and partners in four states, helps the food go to the hungry instead of landfills.
Posard is a student at San Dieguito High School in Encinitas. Her sister, Camille, a UCLA student, is listed as a co-founder.
The EPA said the organization distributes more than 20,000 pounds of donated food each month to struggling families and seniors and works to promote issues tied to reducing hunger, promoting zero waste and environmental protection.
“Through their enthusiasm and commitment, these students and educators are inspiring current and future environmental stewards,” said Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest area. “We are pleased to honor their work that helps communities and protects the environment.”
— City News Service
Annette Easton Named Chair of SDSU Department
Associate Professor Annette C. Easton has been named chair of the Management Information Systems Department at San Diego State University, effective Aug. 18.
Easton earned her Ph.D. in business administration with an MIS specialization from the University of Arizona and began teaching at SDSU in 1988. She has served the university and the college in numerous committee assignments and has been honored with several awards for her service and her teaching.
“Professor Easton brings an outstanding combination of leadership and research credentials to the chair position,” said Dennis Cradit, dean of SDSU’s College of Business Administration. “We can rely on her to spearhead curriculum advancements and research innovation and we applaud her exceptional record of service to the department, the college and the university.”
Easton replaces Robert Plice who will return to teaching during the spring semester.